The following is a "digest" version of the 2012 Moderator Election Town Hall Chat. The format, as described on Meta Stack Overflow, is one answer to this question for every question asked in the Town Hall, containing all the candidate's answers to that question.

To view the digest chronologically, please sort the answers by "oldest".

If you have questions or comments about this, please do not answer this question as the answers are designed to be used for the questions from the Town hall itself. Instead, please ask on the parent question or in the Town Hall Discussion Room.

If you see any corrections which need to be made to this digest, or if you were a candidate who was unable to attend the town hall and would like your answers included, please @Rebecca or @TimStone in the chat room and let us know!

  • 5
    Thanks for doing this Tim!!!
    – Josh
    Feb 9, 2012 at 12:16

34 Answers 34


Oak Oak asked agent86: Looking at your actions actions and history, I have to say I think you are really awesome - not only in the meteoric reputation gain, but also active in flagging, voting, editing, and meta and chat participation. But I'm a little concerned with the fact you have been a member for only a few months - it is my experience that some people really invest in something at start, but their enthusiasm dies out with time, and very high-participation users tend to "burn themselves out". However, you have mentioned this is not the first online community you have been a part of, so it's not like the first time you invest in something. Still, is there some more concrete way you can convince me your high level of participation won't quickly fade?

  • John John noted: This is my main (only?) concern about him being elected.

agent86 agent86 answered: The short answer is "this site keeps me sane." I am a passionate gamer, and if I had my way I'd spend all day playing games. But, I can't, for several reasons that I could mention. I get perhaps 2 hours a day to play these days. This site fills that void. I can spend just a little bit of time here and think about, research, or answer a quick question and blow off some steam. It's a way for me to pursue my hobby without neglecting my other responsibilities.

agent86 agent86 continued: This network "clicks" for me, as I'm a big proponent of open content, helping people with their issues, and a huge gamer nerd. I love the SE model, because I think it makes it possible for the "right answers" to be heard and kept relevant. I've jumped on every opportunity to contribute more, and I don't think I'm near full output potential yet.

agent86 agent86 continued: .... plus, I mean, they give me free games. How cool is that?!? Kidding aside, I feel like I'm getting to know people better every day, and you guys make me smile and laugh, and I enjoy spending time discussing things with all of you. As long as the lazers need charging, I'll help turn the crank.

agent86 agent86 concluded: The source of my gaming passion has been a constant for 15-20 years, that I tend to dedicate myself to the communities I'm involved in long-term, (fCo has been 15 years and going, at eGO I worked non-stop for 3 years on the MAUL project, among other things) and that I'm fairly attached to this place already.


LessPop_MoreFizz http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/2a50d7684f3805c9850ea1a4d1cae595?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG LessPop_MoreFizz asked: Our Tags Suck. We have spent over a year now fighting about How To Tag Things. You have been named Supreme Dictator of Gaming.SE. Your word is Law, and Absolute. Your actions have no consequences, but you have a mandate to Fix Tagging. You can adjust the database in any way needed in terms of blacklisting or banning or synonymizing tags. You cannot make software changes (i.e. Tag Limit). The pleading masses cry out to you for an answer; 'how do we tag things?' What do you tell them?

fredley http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/49a1e7b9c43d40de7f75cc6e93397dcb?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG fredley answered: Tags are for Games and Platforms ONLY. No meta-tags. No Minecraft-redstone etc..

John http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/95c231233b30e7e7a1e7c0740fe36815?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG John answered: Tag it with the game first, and if we have many questions on that game, tag them with subelements of the game. (i.e. ) I would discourage much tagging beyond that.

Ullallulloo http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/fe6922cfe2da1e8fa024c7655804dcad?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ullallulloo answered: Honestly, without important/game tags, I don't see a decent fix. With those, I'd say to put on the meta-tags like and . Assuming I couldn't get those I suppose Jeff's idea is the best and we should just tag with the game except for specific non-game-centric tags on popular questions in popular tags.

Ronan Forman http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/8acdbe5acee59024a513d65a69683ba8?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ronan Forman answered: Clearly no one knows how to tag things, I think the current system seems to be working, as long as people fully understand it.

Mark Trapp http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/ef8d7a735c5ec71cb59105872900187b?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Mark Trapp answered: Every question about a game needs a game tag. If the game's name is too long, use a tag that people would actually search for in the Googles (i.e. none of the weird initialisms created solely for Gaming). Death to all the meta-tags (weapons, items, bosses). Large tags need game-specific tags (redstone, daedra, crystarium)

Oak http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7d4d2fea0deac168bc7e00e6d8f1db5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Oak answered: My opinion from the earliest days of this site is identical to my opinion now - and, incidentally, identical to Jeff's opinion - tags should be something that people filter on, that they can be experts on. As such, I do believe the vast majority of game-specific questions - which, in turn, are the vast majority of questions on our site - should be tagged with just the game.

Oak http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7d4d2fea0deac168bc7e00e6d8f1db5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Oak continued: For large games, such as minecraft, starcraft and skyrim, a few sub-tags are appropriate, as long as it's clear that they are indeed sub-tags. More on my opinion regarding this can be found on my related meta posts.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn answered: To be honest, I've been thinking about this, and I'm really not sure. I have a few ideas of how our tagging system should be implemented, but they all have their flaws. I simply wouldn't be able to make this decision without further discussion with other users of the site in order to help me reach what I believe would be the ideal tagging system.

agent86 http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/4aa6cd18a44c5f10828833c75f3e5016?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG agent86 answered: Tagging policy is the problem - we really have only vague guidelines. If I was in charge, I'd probably come up with a list of "meta tag exceptions" (which must have a justification for survival) and game tags, and then burninate the rest. I don't think we can make progress on tags without a) a policy that makes it easy for everyone to understand if a tag is "good" in most cases, and b) a mass tag burnination to remove the bad tags that already exist.

Kevin Y http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/9035729a8a3f36156485c82ad1e32904?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Kevin Y answered: Due to the overlap of concepts of many video games, having tags with the game name as a prefix would likely remove the ambiguity of our current tagging system.


Grace Note Grace Note asked: A diamond will be attached to everything you say and have said in the past, including questions, answers and comments. Everything you will do will be seen under a different light. How do you feel about that?

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I think that most of my posts are generally of good enough quality that I don't have anything to be ashamed of.

fredley fredley answered: It's a badge of honour. It would encourage maturity and gravitas.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: There's only one case in which I wouldn't want to boast about, and I won that argument anyway :)

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: It's a shift, for sure: you lose out on being able to decide for yourself (like when you personally dislike a question) and have to start deciding things for the site. I've made the transition on Programmers, and I don't see it being too much of a major change on Gaming.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: It will take some getting used to, but I I don't plan to suddenly start keeping my opinion to myself. Diamond or no diamond, everyone has equal say in how the community is run. My opinion won't suddenly matter more than someone elses because I have a diamond.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: I try to be civil in serious discussions and funny in my jokes. I might fail in the latter, but I think I succeed in the former. This should not be a problem.

Oak Oak answered: It will set everything right again, right now it's strange that I occasionally see my name as a single-vote closer or deleter of an old question :) honestly though, I feel perfectly fine with my past actions. I have no issue with a diamond being attached to them... or at least, I don't recall anything problematic :)

John John answered: I don't think I've done anything too horrible. I don't expect the pressure of a diamond to change much for me.

agent86 agent86 answered: I feel like as I gained in reputation, all of my posts were already viewed and held to a different standard than other users. Plus, all of this is google indexed, and despite my desire for anonymity I'm certain someday this will be tracked back to me. I've tried to always post responsibly and recognize that what I post is a matter of public record.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: I see nothing wrong with it.


Ashley Nunn Ashley Nunn asked: We see a lot of new, one-rep users. Sometimes, they ask bad questions (off-topic, gaming-rec, and so on.) What are your views in regard to downvoting new users, and risking driving them away from the site (if they take it badly)?

fredley fredley answered: If it's unrescuable, there's nothing to be done besides a nice comment and a swift close/delete. If they take it badly after attempted reasoning, this probably isn't the site for them.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: We can't go bending rules for new users, but trying to be as friendly as possible helps if they are being trouble on purpose then we don't want the on the site.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I try to be nicer to newbies, edit to improve their posts, upvote a good newcomers answer, and not down-vote on off-topic stuff, but I would if their answer was wrong.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: What makes Gaming (and SE in general) a great site is the unyielding commitment to quality over almost everything else. I think new users generally should be afforded the benefit of the doubt and coaxed with comments to tease out a good question, but otherwise a bad question's a bad question, whether you've just joined or have 20k rep.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I try to avoid down voting new users who make honest mistakes (like asking an off-topic question, or posting a discussion answer/quesiton). I prefer to explain the problem with their post, and redirect them to FAQ. If I see a new user posting several bad posts after being redirected to the FAQ/coomented to multiple times, then I'll be a little more willing to down vote since it indicates to me they haven't done their part in learning how our site works.

Oak Oak answered: I think the most important thing are comments. The primary problem with downvoting and voting-to-close questions by new users is that it's just too impersonal. Do vote down and vote-to-close; just add clear comments welcoming the user, explaining why the question is problematic, and explaining how to fix it (or just fix it yourself).

John John answered: I don't change my voting habits depending on a users age, but I try to post welcoming comments to point the user if the right direction, if there isn't already one.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: I always hate to downvote or VTC a new user that obviously has good intentions. I try to remember to leave an encouraging comment explaining my action and usually inviting them to join us in chat when they get the rep. This get into the subject of "How to make the site friendlier to new users?" I rack my brain on a regular basis trying to come up with something good.

agent86 agent86 answered: Downvoting is what happens to bad questions here. However, I think we need to be careful to make sure we explain clearly how to properly participate in the site. Downvoting is an anonymous process, and should be accompanied by suggestions for improvement wherever possible.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: A question should be acted on appropriately regardless of the user asking it. If they learn from their mistake and stick around, all the better for our community – we gain another valuable user! If they take it poorly and get driven away, they would likely have caused lots of trouble in the future.


badp badp asked: The world of videogames is a large and varied one, and sometimes you'll be asked to act on flags where every second word is obscure jargon you never heard of. (cough, skyrim, cough) How do you plan to moderate plaintext jibberish?

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: Google and Game-specific wikis are your friend. But I think it's not really the job of the moderator to delve into the minutiae of a question and its answers: a bad post is a bad post in any language.

  • badp badp remarked: Sometimes you need to know what they're talking about to decide if a post is indeed an answer or just a irrelevant comment

fredley fredley answered: If it's clearly obscure-keyword-heavy, there's nothing much I can do. If it's something popular (cough, skyrim, cough) that's fine, however if it's something more obscure that I'm aware no one may have the expertise on it may require some research to work out how to untangle the mess. However, Googling is probably as far as it would go for me.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: In most cases I'd ask someone who knows what it means, we have a very active chat, so I know I could find someone who knew about the game, no matter how obscure, and flags come with a reason, so it's shouldn't be hard to see if that particular reason applies.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I try to have a decent knowledge of different topics, but if I'd probably ask in chat if I'm not sure.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I'd do a quick google on the game to see if I can figure out this jargon, and I would also make a post in The Bridge to see if anyone more familiar with the game can let me know what all that jargon means.

Oak Oak answered: I've never played Skyrim. During the Skyrim promotion I've flagged tons of Skyrim answers. How? Because it was clear they were problematic, mostly "not-an-answer". Based on this experience, I do not believe one needs any knowledge with the game for the majority of issues. However, some apparently bad posts I have left untouched, because of my unfamiliarity. As a mod, I will rely on chat to help me in these cases, turning the attention of other, more knowledgeable users to the post.

John John answered: I would use the rest of the internet to learn more about borderline posts, but most posts worthy of removal should be obvious regardless of the game it's talking about.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: When writing a question about a game on is familiar with, it is hard not to write in jargon and acronyms. They are there for a reason, and that reason is to get your point across quickly. That works fine when everyone understand the meaning of said jargon. This cannot be assumed here.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot continued: Every effort should be made to clean up unclear questions either by spelling things out in the terms the game actually uses, or defining jargon the first time it is used in the post. Jargon can be a good thing if it can help people find the question through search engines.

agent86 agent86 answered: DOTA games are this way for me. The questions and answers read like absolute gibberish. Things that require immediate attention are generally obvious regardless of the context, and in these instances in the past I've asked for help on chat from people who are more familiar with the terminology.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Our own chat and community is a great resource in itself, so a simple "I don't play FooBar Adventure, is this answer correct/does it make sense?" should solve the issue most of the time.

  • 1
    (this is actually my main problem as a mod, great question)
    – juan
    Feb 9, 2012 at 14:05

StrixVaria StrixVaria asked: How can we attract users from existing communities about games that don't usually get much exposure here?

fredley fredley answered: Game giveaways. Currently we don't do nearly enough to promote these outside the community. Our various tentacles in social media should be leveraged, I posted about one before, it got a lot of attention on fb, it's a crime we're not making a bigger deal of this!

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: Trying to get users to change communities from one specialized to here is really hard. Posting links to interesting questions there could help, but generally it's better to try to get them from new games.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: Infiltrate the community and link to our questions, or suggest they ask questions they have here instead.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I'm a big believer in "if you build it, they will come." The regular contests and giveaways have helped tremendously for certain games: I think it's a bit untenable to try and recruit communities for all existing games, particularly ones that have been out there for years and have established communities, contests, giveaways, and our regular activity do help attract people looking for answers who haven't gotten the goods from other communities.

Oak Oak answered: We post useful questions and answers. That's the best way. That's also the way stackoverflow originally took the crown from existing programmer communities - of which there were many strong ones - by posting useful questions and answers in a convenient Q&A engine.

agent86 agent86 answered: Incent people to play these games, and ask questions, and more questions and answers will appear. There are many ways of doing this, and I think the current and past promotions are evidence of that. I think we can reach out as "G.SE ambassadors" to these communities to an extent as well, although this can be tricky, as this type of activity is often viewed as spam.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Promotional grants to get more content about said games on our site, to draw attention to G.SE.


Noctrine Noctrine asked: Whichever way you vote on something would now be binding; how would this affect how you vote on questions on the site?

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: I try not to even upvote questions I for games I don't play, and close votes are the same. I would probably bring it up in chat if I was unsure.

fredley fredley answered: Mostly not at all. I guess more care would be taken, but I'm happy with the way I vote at the moment.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: I already only vote on answers that I have some way of confirming are correct. I try to have some idea of whether a question is good by restricting my votes to games/genres I am familiar with. So this will not change.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: From what I've seen, Gaming is pretty good at self-regulating and identifying really problem areas. I don't see many cases where I'd need to use my binding vote to solve an ingrained dispute.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I'd be voting less often. Except in cases where a question should obviously be closed (such as a game-rec question), I'll be waiting to VTC on something until it has already acquired 3 or 4 votes.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I'd be a bit more hesitant about voting on a borderline questions, and get some more community input, but I'd still close things that I'm sure of.

Oak Oak answered: I will only vote if I am absolutely certain. This is something I have listed in my nomination post, but perhaps not emphasized enough, so I will reiterate: if there's any doubt, it's not for me to decide. I will only use my vote if I am positive something is inappropriate or close-worthy, or if some conflict is starting to form (e.g. back-and-forth closing/opening). There are enough 3k-ers: as long as the amount of controversy is low, it's for them to decide.

John John answered: I would go to even greater lengths to ensure I was correct before voting.

agent86 agent86 answered: I try to only vote on a question if I feel like I could justify my vote on meta at a later date. I think I'd want to keep this in mind no matter how significant or insignificant my moderation actions are.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: My voting behavior would change since I can't, say, cast a close vote and see if four other users agree. For very clearly off-topic/NARQ/other questions I would cast my binding vote, but generally I would see what the rest of the community first.


Resorath Resorath asked: Moderators across SE sometimes vote against the grain of the community. For example, a question that was closed by a moderator, reopened by 5 regular joes then closed again by a moderator. How liberal (or personal) should a moderator's decision be in acting on controversial questions?

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: If a question gets re-opened then it normally calls for a meta discussion on the matter, I'd listen to why the community believes it should be open and give my points, if we still can't make a decision then I'd unfortunately have to pull rank.

fredley fredley answered: We don't want to become reddit, that's not what our community is about. If left to the hoards, we'd end up with memeful and unhelpful Q&A. The moderators role is keeping the site true to the SE mission: improving the internet with high signal, low noise Q&A. If a question really isn't going to help anyone who stumbles past in future, it's not for this site, take it somewhere else, regardless of how amusing it is.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: My personal rule is that a mod shouldn't unilaterally close a question reopened by the community. If a mod feels strongly about it after the community overrode their close, it's important to discuss that dissonance on the meta and figure out a workable compromise.

  • LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz remarked: I'm curious to hear a bit more depth from your perspective on this one, since my perception is that the sort of Problem User you run into at Programmers is a bit different from the sort I'm talking about here. I'm not talking neccesarily about misunderstandings of site scope so much as more fundamental things about the very nature of Q&A as opposed to a forum.

    Mark Trapp Mark Trapp responded: Programmers has a weird scope: we touch on things that newer users tend to consider discussion topics. So a lot of new users get confused about what exactly the SE style of Q&A actually is and treat it like a forum. We try to explain, as best we can, what SE is all about. Many users get it after you say, "we're not you're typical discussion forum: we're looking for a specific type of question."

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I'd only vote if I'm sure. In cases where a user asks a controversial question, I'd probably open a meta topic to gather opinions like we usually do.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: If the question is re-opened by the community the moderator should not re-close it. They should first consider whether they were wrong to close the quesiton in the first place. If they don't think they were, posting in comments/chat/meta would be the correct way to proceed. A mod is still just one user, and should be enforcing the views of the community. Their views come second to that of the community.

John John answered: If I found I were in opposition with the community, I would ping the relevant users in chat and discuss it there until we reached an agreement.

Oak Oak answered: I believe I've answered this before. I will be very careful with my close vote. If I see myself going against the community I will stop and think again and again to make absolutely sure I was doing the right thing, and I will open an appropriate meta-post or chat discussion. Community > mods

agent86 agent86 answered: The moderator's job is to intervene in exceptional situations. Most of us 'non-mods' have a limited moderation ability however, and that means that we need to communicate clearly and work together. I abhor close/open and comment fighting, since I think it sends a bad message to the community at large.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: If I closed a question that got reopened by the community (and it wasn't some sort of community rebellion), I would trust the community's judgement over my own (in nearly all scenarios, all situations have exceptions).


LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked: What is your favorite color of lazers?

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: Blue

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: Orange, (that's what you're looking for right)

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: Purple.

fredley fredley answered: Green, as per the Ask button

John John answered: Blue.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: Blue! No! Ye AAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

Oak Oak answered: Bright orange.

agent86 agent86 answered: Infra-red.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Orange! (because orange is clearly the best colour)


FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes asked: This question is specifically for @John, @Ronan, @Origami (and partially @ArdaXi though he's not present). While you're all rather active in chat and on the site, (and in @John's case, M.SO, which is a big plus), I noticed on your respective nominations that you have relatively few flags here in comparison to some of the other candidates (all of you sitting at less than 100). Can you clarify a bit as to why?

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: I check the review page daily and would love to get more flags. To be honest, most of the time I am unsure of whether or not to flag. Sometimes it is painfully obvious. Sometimes, not so much. Sometimes, I just don't get to the ones that need flagging in time.

  • FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes asked: As a follow-up on that, is that just because of unfamiliarity with the game in question, or just general ambiguity on whether or not it's a case warranting a flag?

    OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot responded: The latter. I am still learning what is flag worthy and I shy away from flagging in unsure circumstances. I feel like the mods have enough flags to worry about without me making mistakes. Optimally, I should ask a mod.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: I can vote to close, so bad questions to not get me flags. And I'm not always on the newest game, (that gets the most new users) so don't often see the bad answers from people who don't understand the rules.

John John answered: I simply don't see much that needs flagging. I find very few posts that are cut-and-dried not-an-answers. I prefer to leave posts I'm unsure on to the rest of the community. Were I elected, I would bring up posts I was unsure on in chat and actively seek to get those resolved.


Nick T Nick T asked: If a question is destined to be closed (subjective/NARQ), but it begs a very similar good question (though it may distort the original sentiment), should it be edited or just closed?

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I'd probably edit if it's roughly the same at least, unless the OP objects.

fredley fredley answered: Closed, and a new question asked. This is always, always the case, trying to resurrect questions gets complicated, what with comments and votes that are no longer relevant.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: If it's what the asker intended (or similar to it) then edit, but if it's clearly not, then it should just be closed. We don't want to be putting words into people's mouths.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: If a relatively simple edit can fix it, edit it. Encourage the asker to edit if a lot of revision is required.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I love heroic edits. If a question can be saved (without invalidating all answers already there), so much the better. While mods can't be the only ones saving questions from certain doom, I do make it a point on Programmers to at least try when I see a great question hiding under poor wording.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I really can't offer a general solution to that, it depends on how much the "begged question" differs from the actual quesiton. If it differs too much I would encourage the user to ask a new question. If I feel the begged question is close enough to the original quesiton I'd suggest the user make the change if they want to, or offer to do it for them assuming it has not already been closed.

Wipqozn Wipqozn continued: If the question was already closed, I would just make the edit myself and ping the original closers to see if my edit fixes the problem. I would not use my mod vote to re-open without consulting the community first.

Oak Oak answered: Edited, while explaining in a comment, to the original user, that it was doomed otherwise, and explaining what to do if she still wants her original question answered (e.g. by sending her to chat).

John John answered: If it seems salvageable, I would edit it to be within our bounds. If the OP objects, I would let the community make it's decision and ask the more on-topic form of the question myself.

agent86 agent86 answered: I think closing it, but commenting on the question about how it could be improved is a good first step. If the asker abandons the question, depending on how different the "good" question is, I would either edit it or ask a new question.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: If the question already has answers or lots of comments, a new question should be asked (essentially if editing the content of the question would result in more confusion). Otherwise, editing would suffice.


Noctrine http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7625efbd4e4848b4a0b3ca851f058ca?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Noctrine asked: Is there anything you would want to change on the site? And how would you plan on achieving this?

fredley http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/49a1e7b9c43d40de7f75cc6e93397dcb?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG fredley answered: LAZERS (plans on achieving this still in the early stages)

fredley http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/49a1e7b9c43d40de7f75cc6e93397dcb?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG fredley continued: Yes, some minor tweaks, some of which I have raised in meta, but nothing fundamental. It's a great site, and if it ain't broke...

Ronan Forman http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/8acdbe5acee59024a513d65a69683ba8?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ronan Forman answered: Spell L.A.S.E.R.s right. But in all seriousness I've been with this site for a while, so sort of shaped the site as it grew (as did all users) so there isn't anything I can think of to change.

Ullallulloo http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/fe6922cfe2da1e8fa024c7655804dcad?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ullallulloo answered: I like to get important/game tags, but I'm not sure how I would go about getting them.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn answered: I'd like to remove ITG questions for starters, and doing so should be done through the proper channels: Meta, meta, meta.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn continued: I would also like to fix our tagging system, which is terrible and confusing. I'll post more about this i response to the quesiton lesspop just posted though.

Mark Trapp http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/ef8d7a735c5ec71cb59105872900187b?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Mark Trapp answered: I'd also love to see less quick-draw answers and more thoughtful, science-y answers. One idea I had was to have recurring "revisiting" contests, where one topic (let's say an old Minecraft patch) is revisited and answers vastly improved based on what we know now.

Oak http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7d4d2fea0deac168bc7e00e6d8f1db5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Oak answered: Make users downvote more, and I don't know how to achieve this :) also, I'd like to see some better way to explain to new users this is a Q&A site and not a discussion form.

agent86 http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/4aa6cd18a44c5f10828833c75f3e5016?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG agent86 answered: Tags. Tags are a big, fat, nasty mess. I do my part to try and bring them to everyone's attention whenever I can. I still think we're quite far from a comprehensive policy on them, however. Our efforts thus far have been taking a squirt bottle to a house fire. I don't know that we (as a community) are "ready" to call the fire trucks though :)

Kevin Y http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/9035729a8a3f36156485c82ad1e32904?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Kevin Y answered: I think the Stack Exchange engine works wonderfully for what it is, a Q&A site, and I don't see anything major that needs revamping.


Nick T Nick T asked: Should questions not be significantly edited for fear of "putting words in people's mouths"? Does the original poster "own" their post or is it community property?

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: They don't own the post, but the own it's meaning, it may be edited to death, as long as the meaning remains.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: If a original poster doesn't want an edit they can have it however they want as long as it isn't offensive or spam or blatant misspelling or mistagging or something, despite the consequences.

John John answered: IMO, it is community property, however, it should retain the original users intents as much as possible. If this is not possible while staying within the bounds of the FAQ, I would edit to question to comply, and leave a comment stating that I had and why.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: This site and all its questions and answers are for the benefit of the community. I would rather see questions edited than have a million bad questions on the same topic that are just different enough to not be duplicates.

fredley fredley answered: It is community property. That's the way the site is built, that's how it runs, and it has no other option. Significant edits are appropriate in a number of cases we've already discussed, such as bad questions with embedded good questions, EULA violation questions etc. 'Putting words into people's mouths' is a fair price to pay to salvage the question.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I would say it's a combination of both. Questions do belong to the community as a whole, but you shouldn't go around wildly changing peoples questions without consulting them first. Edits should be made to improve a question, not turn it into your own question or writing style.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: If the question is going to get closed, or the answer deleted, the CC-BY-SA needs to be invoked and the post altered, damn the original poster's intent. It's either we do a heroic edit or the question doesn't belong here. I think most would prefer the former.

Oak Oak answered: This is very similar to a question just asked here, isn't it? Anyway, it's okay to edit someone's post even if the meaning is slightly altered, as long as it is done carefully and that it is explained to the asker. I've written more about it in my previous answer.

agent86 agent86 answered: The community owns the post (everything's creative commons here) but I do think we have a responsibility to honor the owner's intent to an extent. This means we have to balance the responsibility of making the information useful and relevant to future visitors with damaging the effort put into the post in the first place.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Questions shouldn't be edited to change the general message of the content (alterations to the connotation of words used, for example), but if a question requires significant editing then editing is appropriate. If the original poster doesn't approve of the edits made, they can always roll it back or come to the consensus with the editor in chat/comments.


LessPop_MoreFizz http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/2a50d7684f3805c9850ea1a4d1cae595?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG LessPop_MoreFizz asked: How far are you willing to go to demand that we finally get our firing lazers? What are you willing to put on the line? How many StackOverflow employees beloved family pets are you willing to kidnap and hold for ransom?

Ullallulloo http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/fe6922cfe2da1e8fa024c7655804dcad?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ullallulloo answered: I'm not going to answer this for fear of it being used as evidence against me. :x

fredley http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/49a1e7b9c43d40de7f75cc6e93397dcb?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG fredley answered: Since this is a part of my election pledge, all the way, no exceptions - I'm gonna be like Liam Neeson in Taken...kinda thing...

Mark Trapp http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/ef8d7a735c5ec71cb59105872900187b?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Mark Trapp answered: I would stop at nothing. No pity. No remorse. No fear.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn answered: I'll gather my fellow bronies, and storm the offices of Stack Exchange! I'll claim the land as my own, and then I'll force them to implement lazers, and also declare gaming the king site of STack EXchange!

Oak http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7d4d2fea0deac168bc7e00e6d8f1db5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Oak answered: I'm gonna use my powers-of-inducing-guilt in Jin until he capitulates. I do believe once we get to 100 upvotes, we could legally mount some protest through downtown New York, or something along these lines.

John http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/95c231233b30e7e7a1e7c0740fe36815?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG John answered: Nag Jin. Nag Jin more. And even more.

agent86 http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/4aa6cd18a44c5f10828833c75f3e5016?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG agent86 answered: I've actually been experimenting with doing this via userscripts, but I suck at the "firing lazers" art :) If someone wants to help, at least us "in the know" types could get our lazers. Wouldn't help new users, but maybe if we demonstrated feasibility and awesomeness we could get this picked up by the StackExchange overlords.

Kevin Y http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/9035729a8a3f36156485c82ad1e32904?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Kevin Y answered: I'll leave that to @fredley since, after all, it's one of the points he's made in his nomination.


Michael Mrozek Michael Mrozek asked: How would you deal with a user who produced a steady stream of valuable answers, but tends to generate a large number of arguments/flags from comments?

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: Generally, people don't realize they're doing it and just get carried away in a conversation. If they're active in chat, I'd pull them into a private chat room and have a heart-to-heart. Otherwise, I'd send them a mod note and let them know about the "Be Nice" rule.

fredley fredley answered: Flag those comments (if appropriate), try and calm the tone in comments if necessary, and educate the user as to how to behave on the site (gently).

Oak Oak answered: In general, it's not worth it. People come here to get answers for their gaming issues, not to be insulted or be dragged into an argument. So first and foremost, my responsibility is towards all the rest of the users, both present and future. However, I will do my best to try and calm that user down - through chat and/or private discussion, preferably - and to emphasize what we expect of users on this site.

Oak Oak continued: If I have to outright delete content or suspend, I will - but I'll first do what I can to not drive that user away, especially if he's currently in a bad mood. Bad moods happen, to us all.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I'd talk to them through a private chat, or through a mod message.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: First, make sure the know what comments are wrong or unfit for the site, if they persist or did know what they were doing was wrong they may have to be suspended if they are doing it purposely to annoy, we need people to want to be here, and people being purposely annoying isn't helping that.

John John answered: I would bring them aside in chat (as privately as possible) and remind gently remind them to be nice. Somewhat less gently if they're being controversial on purpose, or haven't heeded prior warnings.

agent86 agent86 answered: Treating comments like a discussion forum is counter to the stack exchange format. The comment system even tells you that you should take it to chat if you wish to have a discussion. Someone who has steadily provided valuable answers should be aware of the SE model, so hopefully a small nudge would be enough to make them understand what is and what is not appropriate.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: I would contact them (most likely via chat) to bring their attention to the flags and such that their comments were attracting, and help remedy the behavior.


Nick T Nick T asked: Should all policies on the site be absolutely codified so there is as little room for interpretation as possible? Why?

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: Absolutely not.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: Yes.

fredley fredley answered: No. A community is an organic thing. I'm much in favour of the spirit of the law, writing great questions and answers that improve the internet over the letter of the law, laying down absolutes of right and wrong.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: Doing so would be am impossible task. Not only does no one have the time to do so, but their is no way you can list rules for every single possible situation.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: There is a balance somewhere. All policies should be well defined, but that does not mean "not open to interpretation." Every situation is unique and should optimally be given the same amount of attention as its predecessors.

Oak Oak answered: I do not think it is possible. In general, though, it's better to write something down as policy then to argue every time anew about it. Also I believe users will be more alienated if their content is removed because of what they perceive to be arbitrary decisions, than by clearly-codified policies. We do need, however, to be open for discussing old policies, primarily by way of meta posts.

John John answered: No one has the answers to everything. Sometimes a little interpretation is a good thing.

agent86 agent86 answered: As much as I'd love this, I don't think it's possible. So much of this site operates in a gray area that is neither black or white. However, we all have a little bit of moderator power in us to make calls about these gray areas, and that's what makes the site great. As a "big M" Moderator, I'd want to explore what can be codified and make sure that it is clear.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Nope. Especially for a site like Gaming, it's hard to make a set of strictly black and white rules that resolve all cases. The democratic community of Stack Exchange websites is the best weapon against content in the grey-area.


LessPop_MoreFizz http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/2a50d7684f3805c9850ea1a4d1cae595?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG LessPop_MoreFizz asked: The nature of our subject matter means we tend to get more than a fair share of new users who don't quite grok StackExchange. (This is especially visible when looking at, for instance, the deleted answers of any question.) What can we do better, and you specifically as a mod, to train and retain those users, as our google footprint grows?

fredley http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/49a1e7b9c43d40de7f75cc6e93397dcb?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG fredley answered: Helpful comments on unhelpful questions/answers. Comment before deleting, directing the user to the FAQ as appropriate.

Mark Trapp http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/ef8d7a735c5ec71cb59105872900187b?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Mark Trapp answered: Copious comments. I've found on Programmers that people tend to accept The Law™ a little better if you take 15 seconds to leave a polite comment explaining what just happened. Besides the promotional activity in place, I don't think there's much more we can do other than to be polite as possible.

Ullallulloo http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/fe6922cfe2da1e8fa024c7655804dcad?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ullallulloo answered: We should encourage people to comment when they flag things, and I try to leave a comment when I do. It's also important to encourage newcomers to read the FAQ.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn answered: Helpful comments on questions and answers explaining what they did wrong, and linking them to the FAQ. I already make a point to try and do this when I see it, so I don't think there will be any change here for me.

OrigamiRobot http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/45525097ec6dceeba6ed6808e6cef479?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG OrigamiRobot answered: I don't remember everything about what it was like when I first began to use the site. I didn't know about meta. It may have been spelled out somewhere in the signup process, but it is common to not read things like that. Making the site friendly to new users is a huge point to me. I have come up with a few ideas, but none of them have been very good so far. Gotta keep thinking.

Ronan Forman http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/8acdbe5acee59024a513d65a69683ba8?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ronan Forman answered: In most of these cases, it's just a case of people not reading the FAQ, and there's not much we can do about that. Closing, commenting and hoping for the best is what we do at the moment, and I can't think of a way of forcing people to read the FAQ without being annoying to non-hastle users. And I don't want to treat everyone as a criminal before they've even posted.

John http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/95c231233b30e7e7a1e7c0740fe36815?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG John answered: Refer them to the FAQ, kindly explain our actions and how the site works, possibly refer them to other questions they might be able to answer sufficiently.

Oak http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7d4d2fea0deac168bc7e00e6d8f1db5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Oak answered: in my opinion, new users who don't correctly understand how to use a Q&A site are probably the most haunting issue we face. It's not a particularly terrible, community-splitting issue, but the sheer amount of not-an-answer posts, on a daily basis, is daunting. I'm not really sure how to solve this. It's very pronounced in gaming but it is a cross-site issue: Thanks a lot for this post … and other first time user curiosities

agent86 http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/4aa6cd18a44c5f10828833c75f3e5016?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG agent86 answered: New users are always going to be an issue - this is actually a good problem to have! New users don't tend to read first before they jump in to participate, so we have to be gentle in our reminders so as not to scare them off. We also have to remember that things that are obvious to us as "power users" are often completely oblique and nonsensical to outsiders.

Kevin Y http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/9035729a8a3f36156485c82ad1e32904?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Kevin Y answered: Like I do already, for new users who ask off-topic questions or other content that isn't appropriate for G.SE, instead of just casting a close vote or flagging, I leave a comment indicating what is wrong with the question/answer/comment, pointing them to the FAQ, and (if it's appropriate) giving suggestions on how to improve their question/answer to make it not off-topic/etc.


Grace Note Grace Note asked: How will your moderation style differ from the existing mods? How will the site change as a result of the way your style differs?

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I generally like how y'all're moderating, and I think that I'd generally kind of conform to that.

fredley fredley answered: I'd do what I thought was beneficial for the site as a whole, with a focus on quality (there's a lot of old junk that needs cleaning up!). Quality has worked for other SE sites (notably SO), so I think that's what I'd focus on.

John John answered: I don't expect it to differ too much. I'm practically always here so possibly faster response times (I'm not sure what the current ones are, but my posts I flag seem to remain untouched for quite a while sometimes).

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: I don't know what my moderation style is. I hope to learn all the best mod tactics from the existing mods. I can say I believe that no relevant information on an issue is unimportant. Everyone deserves to be listened to and treated respectfully in serious matters. There is a Captain Planet joke in here, but I can't put my finger on it.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I generally act on flags quickly: if I think I can resolve a flag when I see it, I'll try to do it. It's hard to say what exactly the current moderation style is from the outside, but I'm generally faster than most other mods on other sites.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I like the way the current mods moderate, and I don't think I would differ too far from their current stye.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: I don't want to act too quickly, as it leads to misreading or not quite understanding what I'm acting on. So I'd rather wait to see if it gets more close votes (in the case of closing) or if it gains more flags.

Oak Oak answered: I don't know if it will be significantly different. I see my top priorities as cleaning up the site, acting as arbiter in disputes, and monitoring meta and voicing my opinions there. I hope that if I'll be a mod, I'll be successful in those three... that's it. I don't promise any radical changes :)

agent86 agent86 answered: I'm a very logical person, and I like to look at issues from different perspectives. I think I'd bring a calm presence and a balancing force to the moderator team.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: I'm not completely sure to be honest. Even though I haven't been many posting questions or answers lately, I always have G.SE and meta.G.SE open in my browser, so I see flags quite early on in their life.


spugsley spugsley asked: When I was a fairly new user, I asked a question about Dungeon Siege 3 and it ended up being the topic of an intense discussion on the Meta. I had no idea that the Meta was even a thing so I didn't even get to be involved. How do you plan to communicate all of the features that our community has to offer including chat, meta, blog posts, giveaways, etc to new users so that they can get more involved?

fredley fredley answered: I don't. When users gain rep, they will slowly learn about stuff, as their new privileges invite them to participate in more and more of the site. There's nothing to be done here.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: Encouraging new people to read the FAQ should generally help inform them of most of the functions.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: Related This is why comments should be strongly encouraged on flags, close votes, and downvotes. Some people may have the best intentions and not know they are doing anything wrong.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: I co-run the social networking site around here, so if we get people to follow them we can alert people to the things going on around here.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: Whenever a meta discussion is started on a question I think that a comment should be made on that question. As for promoting the use of these features outside of that, I think they the current system is good enough. It gives you a prompt when you unlock new access, and new users are often given an invite to chat via email (at least I was)

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I feel like I'm repeating the same talking point over and over, but so be it :P We don't have too many ways to inform users of other things happening: we sort of have to make do with what we have, and that's comments. If people are talking about a post on meta, leave a comment on the post being discussed. Something interesting happening in chat that the poster might want to be apprised of? Comment about it.

Oak Oak answered: Meta is murder :) let them come of their own accord. We do have links on the main page to our blog and chat, but again, let them come of their own accord. These are all secondary to the primary mission of our site, which is gaming Q&A. The one exception is promotions - we do need a good way to make those public, perhaps through more elaborate banners or changing the background or something. We just need to find a way which doesn't look like an external ad.

Oak Oak continued: We had a discussion about it during the skyrim promotion thing, which I think was very interesting and could be carried on further for new promotions.

agent86 agent86 answered: I think when a question sparks a discussion on Meta, that meta thread should be linked from the question's comments. This brings the asker into the discussion, and gets them involved in determining the question's fate.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Comments on the question(s)/answer(s) in question indicating that they are currently being discussed on Meta should draw attention to it. I find that the red (new) blog post indicator draws quite a bit of attention to the link to the blog, so there isn't much issue with the blog. As users participate more on Stack Exchange websites, they will eventually learn of Meta (and the concept of Meta), so I feel it's something that will happen over time.


badp http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/e64b121f4d288e1f5a34d3f4dc8ebfb9?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG badp asked: Criticize us. You've seen the four of us in action for the last few months, I'm sure you've seen plenty of cases when you've seen us do something stupid and died a little inside, silently facepalming. And yet you wish to join our ranks. How have we been failing you? How would you be the most winnest Gaming modrater of all times? I mean, after Grace?

fredley http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/49a1e7b9c43d40de7f75cc6e93397dcb?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG fredley answered: To be absolutely honest, I rarely see bad mod action. Sometimes we have flag disagreements, but more often than not I'm in the wrong (and new flagging rules sort this out to some extent!). We have great mods, I'd be honoured to join the ranks.

OrigamiRobot http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/45525097ec6dceeba6ed6808e6cef479?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG OrigamiRobot answered: I made all my criticisms known here :P

Ullallulloo http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/fe6922cfe2da1e8fa024c7655804dcad?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ullallulloo answered: Generally, I think that y'all've been doing a very good job, and your failures are usually very obvious. I'd probably try to just do normal moderator stuff and mess up not a lot.

Mark Trapp http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/ef8d7a735c5ec71cb59105872900187b?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Mark Trapp answered: Two things: the slowness of flag resolution (although it's gotten much, much better in the last couple of weeks) and the sometimes arbitrary flag declines (although that's been mitigated by the removal of flag weight). I think I can ease some of the load with the former, and offer some guidance on the latter.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn answered: I'll be splitting this into two separate posts, since it is really two different questions.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn continued: To be honest, I don't have any serious complaints the current mods. If I had to pick and prod, I would say the @mana is a little to soft when it comes to handling certain situations, and @raven can sometimes be a little too quick to cast his binding close votes (you're obviously perfect @badp :P).

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn concluded: I would be the most winnest mod gaming has ever seen for one obvious reason: I'm Wipqozn. Seriously though... I make no claims I would be the best mod ever, but I think I would be an excellent mod. I almost always make a point to comment when flaggin/vtc/down voting, and would continue to do the same as mod. I would put the views of the community first, and my own second. I would still voice my opinion, bu if the community disagrees with me I'll still enforce the communities views.

Oak http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7d4d2fea0deac168bc7e00e6d8f1db5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Oak answered: In general I'm pretty pleased with our team. I do think occasionally Raven closes a question too quickly :) other than that I can't recall any specific problem I've had. Except perhaps that you should respond to flags faster :)

John http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/95c231233b30e7e7a1e7c0740fe36815?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG John answered: You (existing mods) seem to be a bit rash sometimes. I would try to reach a consensus with someone (at least another mod, if not the occupants of the Bridge) before closing/deleting things that weren't clearly cut and dried.

agent86 http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/4aa6cd18a44c5f10828833c75f3e5016?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG agent86 answered: I'd have to say that I don't always see a unified front from the moderation team, and I'd like to get us all on the same page. I think as moderators, we're acting independently, but we should demonstrate a unified front towards the userbase at large, if possible. I'd like us to agree on things whenever possible, or at least hash out our differences on meta, before making important decisions.

Kevin Y http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/9035729a8a3f36156485c82ad1e32904?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Kevin Y answered: There aren't few (if any) times where I have disagreed with the actions our moderators have taken. Our current mods do a wonderful job moderating the site.


Noctrine Noctrine asked: Not including yourself, which three nominees do you think are the most suited to become the next moderators and why?

fredley fredley answered: @Oak, @agent86, @Wipqozn

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: @agent86 @MarkTrapp @Oak ( @FallenAngelEyes if we could write in candidates)

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I think Oak look like the best candidate because he flags everything and has experience moderating here. John looks like a good second. He spends a lot of time here and seems to understand the site very well. For third, it's a toss-up between Mark Trapp and agent86 for their high flag counts and ronnie for his so pro much-ness.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I'm partial to @oak (although I deeply disagree with him about the value of ITG questions), @Wipqozn, and Kevin.

John John answered: @Oak @agent86 @Wipqozn

Oak Oak answered: I'm still unsure, there are many good candidates. I think Mark is a very good choice. And once agent86 will convince me of his undying love (see my future question to him), he might also get my vote :)

agent86 agent86 answered: Oak I think is a shoo-in. Wipq. is polling very well and I've been impressed by his calls of late. Mark and I have been at odds a bit lately, but I think he'd do right by the site.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: In no particular order: @Oak, because he did an amazing job as a pro-tem mod. @agent86, because he has made great contributions to Gaming content-wise and understands our site very well. @Wipqozn, because his avatar was previously an alot, and because he spends a lot of time on the site and understands our community and the site well. Oh, and @ronnie because he so pro.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: @agent86, due to his high activity and good understanding of how our site works; @John since he has a good understanding of the site and I think he would handle situations well. I've never seen him lose his temper, or show any sort of malice towards another user. Very important for a mod who will be dealing with a lot of difficult situations; @arda, since he always handles situations logical and with reason. He doesn't let his emotions or opinion get in the way or cloud his judgement.


LessPop_MoreFizz http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/2a50d7684f3805c9850ea1a4d1cae595?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG LessPop_MoreFizz asked: Per @AshleyNunn's question, what do you think can be done to counter the general downvote-phobia that seems pervasive around the site? It strikes me that a large portion of our moderation needs arise because people would rather flag than downvote. Where do you draw the line between a bad contribution, and one that should be removed?

fredley http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/49a1e7b9c43d40de7f75cc6e93397dcb?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG fredley answered: Downvotes on questions are rarely needed, if a question is irrecoverably bad it should probably go. Downvotes on answers are for incorrect answers, flags are for answers that aren't answers, or spam/garbled etc. In my mind it's fairly clear cut. Do we need to encourage downvoting then? As long as good answers are upvoted there's not a problem.

OrigamiRobot http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/45525097ec6dceeba6ed6808e6cef479?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG OrigamiRobot answered: Bad answers that made an attempt to answer the qustion should be downvoted. "Answers" That make no attempt to answer the question at hand should obviously be removed.

Mark Trapp http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/ef8d7a735c5ec71cb59105872900187b?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Mark Trapp answered: In terms of a lack of down-vote culture, it's systemic across SE: any problem with it needs to be tackled network wide: things like making down-votes free, etc. In terms of using flags instead of down-votes, though: they got rid of flag weight to allow mods to decline unhelpful flags more often. I think it really comes down to, with answer flags, whether the answer actually addresses the question. If it does but it's just terrible, that's not something a mod needs to get involved in.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn answered: For answers, it comes down to a question of whether or not it is an answer to the question. If someone posts an answer, even one which is poorly written, or just down right wrong, it should be down voted not deleted. Deletion is for spam/offensive/discussions posts.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn continued: For questions I think spam should be deleted/offensive should be deleted, but more often than not I think closing + downvoting bad questions are enough (bad meaning not permitted on the site)

Ullallulloo http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/fe6922cfe2da1e8fa024c7655804dcad?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ullallulloo answered: I'm generally kind of reserved about downvoting. If the question is low-quality, I'll usually edit it into shape or encourage someone who knows how to to rather than downvote it, or at least remove it afterwards, and I usually don't downvote off-topic questions if I think it was an honest mistake.

Oak http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7d4d2fea0deac168bc7e00e6d8f1db5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Oak answered: I don't know. I need to think about it some more. I'm very happy about the recent change in which edits remove poor-quality flags; it's a step in the right direction. Maybe we should consider other automated way to decrease the number of flags. Also, downvoting is fun, we need to teach more users that and convert them to the dark side :)

John http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/95c231233b30e7e7a1e7c0740fe36815?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG John answered: If it's merely incorrect, it should be downvoted. Actively harmful and pure nonsense are where I would start to take more extreme action.

agent86 http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/4aa6cd18a44c5f10828833c75f3e5016?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG agent86 answered: I see many downvoted questions and answers in a given day, so I'm not sure what is meant by "downvote-phobia." Many of the flags I've personally sent up were answers that should have been comments instead. I think this is mostly because of new users who are unaccustomed to the SE model. This is a new concept for the gaming community, and we should expect a learning curve.

Kevin Y http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/9035729a8a3f36156485c82ad1e32904?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Kevin Y answered: Most of the time, rather than receiving incorrect answers, we get answers that, well, aren't answers – these should be removed from the site. I personally don't find downvotes necessary most of the time, but they are there for cases where content is incorrect (but not necessarily wrong for the site).


JohnoBoy http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/3ddd5373f2440521f88be6e2a512792f?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG JohnoBoy asked: How do you feel about users being active only for a certain promotion/badge. For example, seeing large amounts of insignificant edits by a user going for the editing badges. Do you think it lowers the quality of content on the site?

fredley http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/49a1e7b9c43d40de7f75cc6e93397dcb?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG fredley answered: No. As long as edits are valid, they're worth it. I'm a fan of minor edits to grammar/spelling/formatting. It makes the site feel a lot more authoritative when everything is correct, and pretty.

Ronan Forman http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/8acdbe5acee59024a513d65a69683ba8?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ronan Forman answered: It technically increases quality, but it does get annoying, if anyone edits more that around 5 questions in quick succession I'd say it's borderline annoying and I'd ask them to stop.

Ullallulloo http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/fe6922cfe2da1e8fa024c7655804dcad?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Ullallulloo answered: If they're flooding the front page, I'd probably ask them to stop or slow it down, but if it's encouraging people to do helpful things, isn't that the point? It'd be nice if we could get them to stick around more, but that's not our call.

Mark Trapp http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/ef8d7a735c5ec71cb59105872900187b?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Mark Trapp answered: I'm not going to lie: when new edit badges are added, the vein in my forehead grows a little bit larger. They're not ideal, but you sort of have to roll with the punches on them. If people are seriously abusing the suggested edit queue or flooding the front page, then it's time for a little heart-to-heart. The other stuff—where people are answering and asking questions during a promotion—I consider that "mission accomplished."

OrigamiRobot http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/45525097ec6dceeba6ed6808e6cef479?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG OrigamiRobot answered: Does it lower the quality of the site? Not unless they are editing in incorrect info. But it also doesn't increase the quality if they are making unnecessary edits.

Wipqozn http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f0b4057ba02f5a30cc91f7ee3640cbf5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Wipqozn answered: So long as they are quality edits I don't see a problem with it so long as they don't start to clog up the front page. I've made the mistake myself, when I was trying to clean-up tags. Although I managed to burn misuse of several our genre tags I wound up clogging up the front page without realizing it. If a user did wind up clogging up the front page with such edits, I'd just ping them in chat to let them know why it can be problematic, and encourage them to try to space out their edits.

Oak http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/f7d4d2fea0deac168bc7e00e6d8f1db5?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Oak answered: My opinion of trivial edits can be found in Why are trivial edits discouraged?; if I see any user doing tons of edits which I consider noise, I will contact her asap to tone things down. As long as there's no evident abuse, though, I don't see anything particularly wrong with users doing something only for a badge. As long as the content of the site benefits, we all benefit.

John http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/95c231233b30e7e7a1e7c0740fe36815?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG John answered: That would depend on the quality of the contributions. If the user is spamming bad edits, I would try to talk to them, but if they're improving the quality of the site, I would let them be.

agent86 http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/4aa6cd18a44c5f10828833c75f3e5016?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG agent86 answered: I think it can sometimes be problematic, which is why I don't have some of these badges already. On the scale of offenses, however, I feel like it's probably more on the "mild annoyance" end of the scale. I want to believe these people are interested and investing in the long term health of the site.

Kevin Y http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/9035729a8a3f36156485c82ad1e32904?s=16&d=identicon&r=PG Kevin Y answered: In most situations, I see nothing wrong with not-so-significant edits – all increases in the quality of content on the site are good. However, if it is clear that the user is, for example, editing solely for the badge (potentially making many edits on one question/answer that could be accomplished in one edit), I would contact the user in chat/through comments and ask them to change their behavior.

  • I'd just like to note that the abuse scenario Kevin Y described (stretching your edit into multiple revisions to game the badges) doesn't work - at least, not any more.
    – a cat
    Feb 9, 2012 at 7:53

StrixVaria StrixVaria asked: Why do you think we fail to have quality questions/answers for some genres of games (for example, fighting games) that have deep systems and strategic gameplay, and how can we promote expansion to games like this?

fredley fredley answered: Game giveaways are a great way to get questions asked on the site. We could have bonus giveaways for games we want to increase participation on. Also: bounties!

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: Lack of users who play play those games enough, which I think is just due to the interest of our community. Gaming promotional grants would be one way to help draw in more users to the site who play those types of games enough to generate content. Other promotions could work as well, such as game on!

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: The current system of rewarding people for using certain tags, (based on views I believe) seems to be working. I also think if people use tags, then more people may think of questions to ask, meaning people think of these deep questions.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: Gaming.SE does well with factual questions and answers: things you can easily verify by playing the game later that day. Fighting games/RTSes are pretty shallow in the facts area, but deep into subjective strategy with no one right. From my experience with P.SE, I've found it's hard to keep the quality up while allowing for the leniency needed to allow such questions. There might be room for seeding those Qs, but I don't think Gaming.SE necessarily needs to be strong in all genres.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: As we can all see by the number of Skyrim question, grants and contests do a great job of getting traffic. This can help draw in experts on those types of games. Unfortunately. a question on a game with deep strategy will require a lot of thought in an answer and can sometimes get into too much discussion.

Oak Oak answered: Honestly, I've never felt we have some shortcoming regarding genres (except perhaps sports games) - it's mostly about the popularity. Heck, we even got some nice casual gaming questions and answers. I think there are two reasons for games to be mentioned on our site: popularity and whether there's an existing, powerful community for that game.

Oak Oak continued: Now, how we can get a foothold into games dominated by other communities is the real issue here, in my opinion, but that isn't entirely related to the question :)

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I think it probably has to do with the fact that those games aren't as popular as other games, and that there's a large gap between people the roughly button-mash and people that are really good at them. We could do grants to help promote them, but there are probably better games to promote, I kind of think.

agent86 agent86 answered: I think we have the opportunity to expand into some of these areas, but we're going to need to 'jumpstart' the feedback loop here. I think we need to use our resources wisely on things that are likely to cause the greatest return on investment for the site.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Certain questions are phrased in ways that answers are simple to Google, and because of this the answers to the questions are Googled content. The best way to get more questions about strategic games would be to have them more available to users, which promotional grants and Game On! would both help with.


bwarner bwarner asked: What, if any, changes should be made in terms of moderation (or otherwise) on Gaming.SE in response to Jeff's trouble with popularity post?

fredley fredley answered: Make sure that quality is emphasized. It's nice to have jocular answers here, but they can be funny and informative. Edit answers that are funny and informative so that appropriate weighting is given. Remove answers which are just jokes.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: The most important thing is the quality of the post. If a user wants to have a little fun with their question I don't see problem with it provided they also answer the question correctly.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I don't think there's a lot that needs to be changed: Gaming.SE does pretty well with having popular questions that are also quality. I think maybe the one thing that could use a little more prudence is the titles-for-the-sake-of-comedy stuff, but that's pretty tame compared to the stuff Jeff mentions in his post.

Oak Oak answered: I think the best thing is to comment on answers if they lack crucial data, no matter how funny or clever they are. Is there a funny horse meme-image-thing? Supercool, as long as it (1) conveys some relation to the answer and (2) an actual textual response which answers the question is posted before, around or after it.

John John answered: I would encourage people to vote like the tooltip says: on the usefulness of it. If the answer is funny and useful, by all means, upvote, but if it's only funny, I would encourage people to downvote unuseful answers and I would potentially remove blatantly distracting and unuseful posts.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I'd try delete it if it wasn't useful, and try to encourage people to vote on the actual content. If it was especially distracting, I suppose I could edit to make it more subtle.

agent86 agent86 answered: This is kind of what I was getting at when I said in my nomination that we're in the big leagues now - we need to be aware that although video games are fun, we've also got a responsibility to live up to the SE brand. I don't want this to go to the extreme of becoming a boring and bland place to be, but I think we should be aware of our responsibility.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Of course questions and answers can have a sense of humour, but it's more important for them to have informative content.


StrixVaria StrixVaria asked: In 5 words or less, what is your stance on ITG questions?

John John answered: Eventually, they should be eliminated.

fredley fredley answered: They're ok, let them stay.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: Okay if thorough. Otherwise, KILL!!!

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: They should not be allowed.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: Detailed is good. Otherwise bad.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: If they're descriptive and not just people guessing then they're okay, as long as people don't upvote just because they liked the game.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I…really dislike them. Alot.

Oak Oak answered: Good, but should be watched.

agent86 agent86 answered: Sometimes fun crutches require reevaluation.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: A question should be acted on appropriately regardless of the user asking it. If they learn from their mistake and stick around, all the better for our community – we gain another valuable user! If they take it poorly and get driven away, they would likely have caused lots of trouble in the future.


Ashley Nunn Ashley Nunn asked: Quite a few of you have mentioned that you would comment before acting. Do you think that every flag made by the community should come with a comment on the post itself?

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: Some posts are obviously spam and don't deserve one, but generally yes.

fredley fredley answered: Yes, along with every downvote. These are harsh actions, they deserve explanation. Currently users are prompted, but not forced to comment, I think this is adequate.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: Comments should be strongly encouraged, but not required.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: Not every one, but if it's ambiguous to why it's bad, then it should.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: The vast, vast majority of unilateral actions by mods go much better if a comment is attached to the action. I think taking the extra 15 or 20 seconds to leave a comment is a small price to pay.

  • Ashley Nunn Ashley Nunn asked: What about the rest of the community? Do they need to leave comments for every action?

    Ullallulloo Ullallulloo responded: It's very helpful, but not required, obviously. Something's better than nothing.

    Mark Trapp Mark Trapp responded: Community comments do help as well. It'd be impossible to come up with some rule or what-have-you-about community commenting, but I think mods can lead by example in this regard. By leaving comments on every single action we do on Programmers, it's gotten many members of the community to do it themselves.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: Not always. If a post is made by a freshly made an account, and it is just an offensive post consisting of insults and racial slurs, I'd just delete the post followed by the users account. That said, for the common situation, a comment should always be made when a post is flagged (or before it is closed)

Oak Oak answered: In general, yes, but I do hope this can be automated. I used to comment on most answers I have flagged, but that really got tiring. I can prepare some copy-paste bin for myself, I guess, but more automation can also help.

agent86 agent86 answered: I don't think every flag needs a comment - when it's clear that the person meant to be offensive, there's no need to engage them directly. In most cases though, I feel like when we give anonymous feedback about something, we should be following that up with a suggestion to the person in order to help them be a better contributor.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: Yes. Flagging and downvoting are results of content being not fit for the site, or wrong. The user who created the content should be made aware of how they could improve for future cases.


badp badp asked: Follow up on @Noctrine's question. Do you actually have a clear idea of what moderators can and cannot realistically do? (I'm not asking you for a shopping list of things you can and can't do. I'm just asking if you have stopped to wonder this, and/or roughly know the answer. Mark needs not apply)

John John answered: I think I roughly know, seeing as I spend a lot of time on MSO which is frequented by many moderators.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: Honestly, I do not. There would be a lot for me to learn, but I am willing to ask questions and learn.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: I think I know mostly what they can do from my time here and my lurking on MSO.

fredley fredley answered: Pretty clear idea on what they can do, less clear of an idea on what they can see (what the mod tools look like, what new data is accessible)

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: I've heard people whine about things they have to do quite regularly, and I've often caught accidental glimpses of what my Dad's been doing.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I think I have a good idea. Mods are members of the community, not dictators. You can't just snap your fingers and suddenly have things change. You need to take the same steps as everyone else: meta and community discussion.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I'll just go on record by saying "yes, yes I do." :)

Oak Oak answered: Yes.

agent86 agent86 answered: In general, I believe moderators can do many of the things normal users can do, but without as much required oversight and without reputation requirements.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: I feel I have a pretty good idea.


LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked: How do you feel about a flat, across the board ban on any and all questions that are legally or contractually (i.e. EULA) ambiguous? This includes questions about private servers, hardware mods, emulators, piracy, etc.?

fredley fredley answered: Edit them to remove the ambiguity. Questions about piracy are already removed pretty swiftly, however if there's a genuine question buried in there, rephrase it so that any answer wouldn't involve breaking the law.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: Personally, I don't really want one, but if that's what the community would prefer, I wouldn't mind much.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: Most of these are not about gaming, so are off-topic, but the ones that are should be handled on a case by case basis, I don't think any rule we have can handle all possibilities.

John John answered: I would be in favor of not allowing anything that would potentially severely hurt the site later. (i.e. Against piracy related questions seeing as SOPA and friends have been considered)

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I'd be against such a ban. The issues involved are too much in the gray area, and Gaming.SE's expertise is not in IP law. I think using our version of the Miller Test is what's requireed, not coming up with broad bans.

Oak Oak answered: I don't like the idea. As long as the operators of this site don't mind, our top goal is to help gamers. As long as we don't deal with stuff which are obviously bad (either blatant copyright infringement, or multiplayer cheating), I don't think such a ban is a good idea.

OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot answered: I'm not sure a ban on anything is a good idea. There could always be outlying exceptions that will be hard to defend if such a ban is in place. Some of these (piracy) obviously do not belong here, but they should be aggressively closed based on policy not a ban.

  • LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz asked for clarification: I'm not sure I understand the distinction you're drawing here. If the word 'ban' is uncomfortable to you, substitute it with 'blanket ruling that these subjects are off-topic'.

    OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot clarified: Bans and blanket rulings imply (to me) that you make a judgement at a glance. They encourage unwillingness to reconsider. Decisions based on policy can be explained with reasoning other than "because that's what we to with questions on X topic"

    LessPop_MoreFizz LessPop_MoreFizz responded: You're mincing words here. I'm asking if you would be in favor of a policy that explicitly considers those subject areas off topic.

    OrigamiRobot OrigamiRobot responded: Yes, I would be in favor of such policies. I know I'm mincing words, but words are important. Ban vs. Policy may have different implications to some people (as evidenced by my replies). I simply want to make it clear that making decisions without willingness to accept exceptions can lead to trouble.

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: I lean more towards yes on this one, since I don't think questions which let users violate the law/EULA should be allowed. However, when it comes to those borderline questions I would need to judge it on a case-by-case basis. There will always be exception to every rule, so absolutes rarely work.

agent86 agent86 answered: I think some questions regarding emulation are not legally problematic. DOSBox, for instance, is perfectly legal. As far as a blanket "NO EMULATION" policy, I'd have to disagree. However, wherever we start to cross into morally or legally gray area, I say we stay away from that. (I've said as much on meta)

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: I wouldn't agree with a ban, but questions that don't fall under the on-topic category of our FAQ should definitely be closed.


FallenAngelEyes FallenAngelEyes asked: What do you feel is the biggest challenge currently facing Gaming.SE, and what, if anything, do you feel will help you address that challenge better as a moderator than as a regular user?

Wipqozn Wipqozn answered: If you asked me this at the last election, I would have said ITG, but now I think the largest issue is tagging. Our tagging system is just confusing. There is no other word for it. Most users don't know how to tag something, because We don't know how to tag something. As a mod, I don't feel I could address this any better than I could as a normal user. This is the kind of thign which needs to be handled by the community as a whole, not just one person.

Wipqozn Wipqozn continued: The only way I think my diamond would help solve this issue is that my voice may carry more weight with the higher ups if the community made a request for special tags, like game tags for example.

fredley fredley answered: Quality quality quality. The tide of low quality content is just beginning (I'm flagging way way way more than a year ago. This is a side-effect of being great and being popular, but vigilance on the side of mods is required. This is why you should vote for me, I'm very active (on the site almost every day) and I swing past review every time I'm on, editing and flagging as necessary. As a mod I'd be able to be a lot more effective in keeping the place tidy and civil.

Ullallulloo Ullallulloo answered: Our tagging is a mess. I've already answered that though.

Ronan Forman Ronan Forman answered: Often 'smaller' tags don't earn people as much rep as the should. I honestly don't think being a moderator would help with this at all. But publicising should help.

Mark Trapp Mark Trapp answered: I think Gaming.SE's biggest challenge is its nouveau riche status as one of the most popular sites on the network (by far) due to the last few promotions. I think I can help Gaming handle the load from the increase in low quality content because of it.

Oak Oak answered: I'm not sure. From the maintenance perspective, we still have a lot of not-an-answer and related noise, and I'd like to find a better way to prevent them. From the strategic aspect, we need to creep into more games which are dominated by other communities :)

Oak Oak continued: And as a mod, I guess my main contribution will be in cleaning up; but I will also do my best to think in the more strategic way.

John John answered: I don't think we have one "biggest" issue, I think we have many mediocre problem such as tagging, nonsense posts, controversial questions, as a mod, I would have better access to the collective wisdom of many other mods for guidance, I would be able to close/delete/reopen faster once a consensus had been reached.

agent86 agent86 answered: I put together a list of three things that are our major challenges going forward. I'd say the biggest of the three is building our community and making it a welcoming place for new members. Without this core community, or if it becomes an exclusive club, we'll stagnate and die out. I want to focus more on cooperation for shared success than competition for individual success.

Kevin Y Kevin Y answered: The quality of new users' content. In many cases, new users contribute great content to the site, but, as a side-effect of us being a video game site, we attract users who think of G.SE as a forum, asking poorly-formatted one-line pseudo-questions with improper grammar (this was made clearer with the influx of Skyrim questions that accompanied our Skyrim vs. MW3 promotion). Flagging, editing, and commenting are what needs to happen.

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